I love my job. I get to work with different individuals, within diverse teams from varied companies and yet, while many of them protest that for them things are different, their workload irregular, meeting frequency unusually high or email volumes beyond the norm.
I’m seldom surprised when I discover that despite different industries, roles, products, services, demanding clients or suppliers, actually, all these companies are very much the same.
That leaves a question begging to be asked: “Why would one team be more productive than another?”
One of the factors at play is the fine set of rules from which the company or department run; the protocol.
And while the mere mention of the “P” word leaves many teams in a rebellious flustered frenzy, it’s this defined set of criteria that keeps everyone singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak, and it’s that unity that moves teams (and companies) forward.
What is protocol?
What type of protocol are we talking about exactly and does it need to be written down?
According to Wikipedia, a team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose.
It’s interesting then, that in the ‘real working world’ a team can often be described as a group of individuals thrown together to spend many of their waking hours within a confined space, following a specific goal (usually), driving a collective mission.
Sometimes the dynamic is a solid one; different personalities travelling as a unified entity in the same direction, and sometimes, it’s not.
This is exactly where protocol comes in: a set and documented process of how certain tasks and actions need to be performed in order to achieve and maintain the desired outcome of the organisation.
10 reasons for protocol
Why does it makes sense to have protocol in place for email, document and meeting management?
- Takes away the guess work, leaving little room for interpretation
- Supports teams to get stuff done correctly, the first time around
- Employees waste less time filing and finding information (physical and electronic)
- Lower attrition – staff feel validated
- Higher morale – teams experience a sense of community
- Effective accountability
- Saves companies money and positively impacts the bottom line
- Minimises overwhelm
- Boosts productivity and supports a culture of work/life balance
- Empowers teams and minimises micro-management.
In short, protocol provides the platform for solid team productivity. What type of protocol does your company have in place and how does it impact on your performance?
Related: Systems Make Perfect
Do you feel that you have sound email, document and meeting protocols in place?